Further support announced to help British companies compete on the global stage

Published on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 14:23
Posted by Scott Buckler

Business Secretary Vince Cable, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green today launched a new cross-government focus on trade and investment to help the British economy grow (May 10th)

The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Strategy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) seven-point Charter demonstrate the Government’s dedication to supporting international business, championing UK business overseas and attracting investors to the country.

They form a core plank of the Government’s Plan for Growth, and recognise the fact that a new focus on business is needed if the UK is to remain economically competitive in the years to come.

The strategy will see UKTI adopt a more entrepreneurial approach to deliver growth. As part of this UKTI will actively seek out overseas investors, help UK companies expand into overseas markets and work more closely with key British companies. Examples of this approach include:

* Establishing a new private sector delivery partner with the incentive to attract and retain high value investments.
* Expanding the Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP) to win more investment to the UK.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

"We're rightly proud of British firms and making sure they can increase their exports to a worldwide audience is vital if we are to rebuild our economy. We also know the UK already has a great reputation as a place to do business and we want to do all we can to make sure foreign investors come here.

"Today, we're announcing practical help for UK companies to ensure they win business overseas. And we're setting out how we will actively attract inward investment to the UK with ambitious plans to target sovereign wealth funds and expand the global entrepreneur programme."

Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

The Charter for Business is part of our commitment to inject a new commercialism into the Foreign Office, using our international influence to help British businesses secure new trade opportunities.

“We will work tirelessly to champion UK business abroad and to help attract investment to the UK.

“Businesses will be able to capitalise on the FCO’s in-depth local expertise to identify and exploit opportunities. Ministers will continue to build the strong bilateral political relationships needed to help business thrive, as well as working to influence trade policy internationally.

“Together with the Trade and Investment Strategy, the Charter marks an important step in delivering commercial diplomacy and sets out a clear vision for how the government will deliver growth and prosperity for the UK.”

The documents launched today reinforce the Government’s desire to place the nation’s commercial interests at the heart of its foreign policy. Both were developed in consultation with industry leaders and signal that Britain is, and remains, ‘open for business’.

Trade and Investment for Growth, a White Paper published in February, set out the Government’s plans to rebalance the economy through an ambitious framework for trade and investment. UKTI’s Strategy and FCO’s Charter are the next step in this process.

The Government is now looking in more detail at how it works with businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and what action can be taken to make this more effective.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said:

"The Strategy we have developed builds on our successes to date but this is not business as usual by any means.

"As UKTI seeks to become more entrepreneurial, it will bring more private sector expertise into its relationship with exporters and inward investors and develop new partnerships with key businesses which support SMEs.

"Our plans will ensure that UKTI is well equipped to face the demands of the future, listening to the concerns of businesses so that we have an economic climate that benefits us all."


Source: BIS

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